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Alizarin-beta-D-galactoside: a new substrate for the detection of bacterial beta-galactosidase

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Perry, Dr Katherine Orr


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We describe the synthesis of a new substrate for the detection of bacterial beta-galactosidase. This substrate, alizarin-beta-d-galactoside, is readily hydrolysed to release alizarin which complexes with various metal ions to form brightly coloured chelates. A total of 367 strains of Gram-negative bacteria were examined for their ability to hydrolyse three chromogenic substrates: alizarin-beta-d-galactoside (Aliz-gal), cyclohexenoesculetin-beta-d-galactoside (CHE-gal) and 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-d-galactoside (X-gal). A total of 182 strains (49.6%) were found to hydrolyse at least one of the three substrates. All of these 182 strains (100%) hydrolysed Aliz-gal whereas only 170 (93.4%) and 173 (95.1%) hydrolysed CHE-gal and X-gal, respectively. We conclude that alizarin-beta-d-galactoside is a highly sensitive substrate for the demonstration of beta-galactosidase.

Publication metadata

Author(s): James AL, Perry JD, Chilvers K, Robson IS, Armstrong L, Orr KE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Letters in Applied Microbiology

Year: 2000

Volume: 30

Issue: 4

Pages: 336-340

ISSN (print): 0266-8254

ISSN (electronic): 1472-765X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.2000.00669.x

PubMed id: 10792658


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